What is Oriel Talks?

Oriel Talks is an initiative by the Middle Common Room to promote the research interests of members across the College. With contributions from SCR, MCR & JCR members, and the whole College invited, we hope to prompt wider academic debate amongst members. After a series of short talks, we will continue discussion at a High Table dinner, before Second Desserts in the MCR.


Michaelmas Term, Week 7, Tuesday 21st November

We warmly invite you all to join us to discuss a theme we all in different ways encounter: Explorations.

Throughout the University, researchers are concerned with a variety of explorations. Some go out into the field, conducting research through a careful analysis and exploration of a site, location, or people. Others, instead, find themselves in the laboratory running experiments in an attempt to explore possible effects. Others still may find themselves conducting their explorations in the armchair, in a careful examination of concepts, arguments, and theory. We are delighted to announce that the next Oriel Talks session shall concern such explorations.

The evening shall begin with a talk from Emma Cernis (MCR) exploring both schizophrenia and psychosis, busting various myths about them and enlightening us on the cutting edge research on these issues happening here at Oxford. We then take some time in the past, with a talk from Ryan Blank (MCR) which, through an exploration of the writings and sermons of various figures, shall shed some light on the notion of masculinity as understood by the Tractarians and members of the Oxford Movement (all very close to home here at Oriel). Finally, our Keynote Speaker Patrick Farrell will tell us of his important physical exploration and fieldwork conducted in the Antarctic, and of his research conducted there on the Larsen ice shelf.

The full schedule is as follows:

5.30 pm — Welcome and Introduction
5.35 pm — Emma Cernis (MCR): Schizophrenia & Psychosis
5.55 pm — Ryan Blank (MCR): The Gentlemen Saint: developing Tractarian manhood at Winchester
6.15 pm — Keynote: Patrick Farrell (SCR): Glaciological Fieldwork on the Larsen ice shelf, Antarctica
7.00 pm — Close
7.15 pm — Dinner in Hall
8.30 pm — 2nd Desserts in the MCR

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you all to an evening of great talks, a high-table style dinner, and second desserts in the MCR!

Cristóbal, Farbod, and Alex

JCR/MCR/Staff Bookings open at Midday on Tuesday 14th November.

SCR Bookings Open Now.

Book Your Place Now!

Our Speakers

At the next Oriel Talks we will be listening to talks on ‘Innovation & Intelligence’. We’re pleased to announce our speakers:

Patrick Farrell

Ryan Blank

Nathan Helms

Glaciological Fieldwork on the Larsen ice shelf, Antarctica
– Patrick Farrell (SCR)

Patrick Farrell is a Fellow in applied mathematics. His research focuses on
exploring the solutions of nonlinear physical laws, and on solving inverse

The Gentlemen Saint: developing Tractarian manhood at Winchester
– Ryan Blank (MCR)

Ryan Blank works on the Oxford Movement and identity—looking at intersections between Anglo-Catholicism, masculinity, spirituality, class, and nationalism. Ryan completed his undergraduate degree in European Studies and Political Science at Brigham Young University where he focussed on romantic-Tory Scottish and Welsh Nationalism of the 1890s and its engagement with British federalism. After graduating from BYU, Ryan completed the Cambridge MPhil in Modern British History, where he submitted a dissertation on Tractarian Masculinities in the English Public Schools. Ryan is currently working towards the MSt in Ecclesiastical History where he examines the Tractarian interpretation and usage of the Anglo-Saxon past.

Schizophrenia & Psychosis
– Emma Cernis (MCR)

I am an accredited clinical psychologist and completed my training doctorate at the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training, where my dissertation explored the clinical understanding and measurement of dissociation (experiences of feeling unreal, detached or numb).

Following on from this, I have now begun a Wellcome Trust Clinical Doctoral Fellowship which will allow me to complete a DPhil program of research. The aim of this is to improve the psychological understanding and treatment of dissociative experiences in the context of psychosis. I am completing this research as part of the Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis (O-CAP) team at the Department of Psychiatry, where I also act as a research clinical psychologist.

I have been part of Oxford as both ‘town’ and ‘gown’ since 2007, when I matriculated for my undergraduate degree at St Edmund Hall, and am very excited to be a member of Oriel College.

Book a place now!

Spaces are limited, so please book now to ensure your seat for our next Oriel Talks!

Booking Opens - Midday 11th October (for JCR and MCR members)

Book Here

Coming Soon

There are plenty more Oriel Talks to come, details revealed soon!

If you would like to give a talk, please speak to the Oriel Talks Coordinators: Farbod Akhlaghi-Ghaffarokh and Cristóbal Pérez Barra.

Hilary Term
1st week
Thursday 16th January
Hilary Term
7th week
Tuesday 27th February
Trinity Term
2nd week
Tuesday 1st